Shrimpers strike it lucky but lack goals

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By James Boyle To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

SKIP­PER John White mar­shalled Southend to a clean sheet on his re­turn from in­jury – but the de­fender told his team­mates to shape up af­ter they suf­fered a sec­ond shutout in three games.

Southend en­joyed the bet­ter of the first half but they had a lucky es­cape af­ter the break when Rob­bie Will­mott missed a penalty.

County keeper Lenny Pidge­ley reg­u­larly kept the Shrimpers at bay but it was Southend’s Dan Bent­ley who had the fi­nal say, deny­ing Will­mott late on to ex­tend their un­beaten run to eight games.

Phil Brown’s side missed the op­por­tu­nity to jump into the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spots, at least tem­po­rar­ily on Fri­day night, and White ad­mits they need to find the net af­ter scor­ing just once in their last three out­ings.

“I think they came here to get some­thing from the game and had a re­ally good chance to win the game with the penalty,” said the 27-year-old.

“We’ve got to try and find dif­fer­ent ways to break them down, and we cre­ated quite a few chances.

“More goals is some­thing we def­i­nitely need to add, all round the team, but we just need to show a bit of com­po­sure.

“For me per­son­ally it was great to be back play­ing hav­ing missed quite a few games with in­jury.

“Ob­vi­ously it would have been nice to get the three points but we’ve kept our un­beaten league start to 2014 go­ing.”

New­port debu­tant Shaun Jef­fers had a penalty shout waved away af­ter half an hour but the hosts al­most took the lead min­utes later, Pidge­ley push­ing Will Atkin­son’s header onto the post.

County were awarded a penalty five min­utes af­ter the break but Will­mott sent his ef­fort well wide of the right-hand post.

Pidge­ley then also pushed away an an­gled ef­fort from Barry Corr be­fore he turned a de­flected Lee Barnard header around the post.

But New­port boss Justin Ed­in­burgh was not pre­pared to point fin­gers and ad­mit­ted Pidge­ley had played an im­por­tant role in se­cur­ing a use­ful point.

“I don't blame Rob­bie Will­mott for the penalty,” said the man­ager.

“He buries them in train­ing ev­ery week and it’s just one of those things. I thought he was go­ing to make amends near the end but the keeper made a great save.

“We def­i­nitely had to weather the storm in the first half with Lenny Pidge­ley mak­ing some great saves.

“But we came out of the sec­ond half and pushed Southend and cre­ated a lot more chances. It is a good clean sheet.”

STAR MAN LENNY PIDGEL

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